The Pain of Letting Go

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” – Eckhart Tolle

Even though letting go is a powerful act, it can also be very difficult to follow through with. Whether parting with an emotion, event, or possession, the pain of letting go is often present and can stall your journey from moving forward. The first step to a simple act, such as cleaning out your closet, is to make the decision that you’re going to let things go.

“You can put logic around it all you want, but sometimes when we are connected to our things through an emotional connection, it just becomes a little tougher for us to make those decisions,” stated Kristin Dahl, Clinical Director of Healthwise Behavioral Health & Wellness, in an interview with Kare11. “It’s kind of a crazy thing, but it’s true. Those emotional connections can be varied and have varied intensities. You can have something in your closet that you had during a fun time in life, and when you look at it, it kind of brings back those memories.”

Emotional connections are powerful and hard to break through no matter the circumstance. Follow these three steps to deal with the pain of letting go for the good of your emotional health.

Focus on the Present

Letting something or someone go is easier when you focus on the present, and what brings you joy right now. Harping on the past, or how a possession holds good memories does not propel you forward, but rather, holds you back. Stop reliving the past and creating excuses as to why you can not let go. Focusing on the great things in your life that are happening in the present gives you less time to think about the negative things that happened in the past. Acknowledge that past moments happened as you remember them, whether they are good or bad, and then bring yourself back into the present moment.

Talk it Out

Expressing your emotions and owning whatever it is you’re having a hard time letting go of will help you understand your pain better, as well as where it stems from. Get your feelings out by going to therapy, venting to a friend, or writing them in a journal. Even though you may not be directly responsible for your pain, you may be able to take responsibility for something within the situation and learn from it for next time. Being an active participant in our own lives allows us to become more self-aware and potentially avoid future damaging situations.

Make the Decision to Let Go and Stick With It

Commitment is key to letting go. If you don’t make a conscious effort to let go of something that no longer serves you, it will never disappear on its own. Making a decision and sticking with it is empowering because you have a choice. It means you’ve decided to stop dwelling on the past and will focus on the future instead. You can either hold onto your pain or make the conscious decision to live your life without it.

For more information about the pain of letting go and how to deal with it, contact Healthwise Behavioral Health & Wellness. Also check out our Mind Body Studio for yoga classes for emotional health, mindful meditation, essential oils, and more!